Thursday, October 25, 2012

Breaking News: McDonald Offered Fire Chief Position In Monson



Reliable sources have informed The O’Zone that town councilor Laurent “Butch” McDonald has been offered the position of Fire Chief in the town of Monson.

The same sources report that as a condition of employment Mr. McDonald would be required to move to Monson before Christmas.

If these reports are accurate, it would create an opening on the Southbridge town council.

McDonald, 47, was picked over Monson Deputy Fire Chief Brian S. Harris, Belchertown Fire Department Capt. Craig Bodamer, and Fred Mitchell Jr., a deputy fire chief for the North Cumberland, R.I., fire district. The board held interviews two weeks ago.

The pay range for the position is $56,365 to $68,492.

McDonald is a certification program manager with the National Fire Protection Association in Quincy, a position he has held since 2007. Selectmen said his experience stood out. McDonald has been involved in fire services for more than 30 years.

"Given Mr. McDonald's resume and experience, I felt his background would bring a level of professionalism to the Fire Department, and help it go to the next level," Selectmen Chairman Edward A. Maia said.

Selectman Edward S. Harrison said while he thought all candidates were quailified, he said the board was seeking someone with a "long history of experience, especially in the area of management."

"It's not only the technical aspects of firefighting or emergency medical services, but it's a question of how you manage people," Harrison said.

Selectman Richard Smith said he thought the department would do well with any of the finalists, but given his education and experience, he also would choose McDonald.

Maia thanked all the applicants, and said if all four were rolled into one, they would have the "perfect fire chief, but unfortunately that's not possible." Harrison said he hopes that the decision is not interpreted as a negative reflection on anyone who applied.

After the meeting, McDonald said he is "very flattered and very grateful" to have been selected.

A Southbridge native, he said he plans to move to Monson, so that he can respond quickly to incidents, and is looking forward to being part of the community.

He said he especially was impressed with how town officials handled recovery efforts following the June 1, 2011 tornado. He hopes to start the position relatively soon.

McDonald's resume dates back to 1980, when he served as a Southbridge auxiliary firefighter. He also is a Holland volunteer firefighter, a position he said he will no longer continue.

He was Dudley's fire chief from 2004 to 2006, and spent from 2006 to 2007 as training director for the state Department of Fire Services. He retired from the U.S. Air Force Fire and Emergency Services in 2004, after 21 years. He has been an adjunct professor of fire science at Anna Maria College in Paxton for the past six years.

During his interview two weeks ago, McDonald told the selectmen, "I really miss being a small-town fire chief. That's where my heart's desire is."

Marshall L. Harris is serving as acting fire chief. He came out of retirement to lead the department after George L. Robichaud resigned as chief on June 30.

Town Administrator Gretchen E. Neggers said she hopes to have McDonald on board by the first of the year. The department has five full-timers, 45 call firefighters and one full-time clerk.

18 comments:

  1. He has told me that he has told them that he would relocate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why doesn't Southbridge have the same requirement?

      Delete
  2. Thank you, God. Mr. Know it all is leaving! Congratulations will be coming from the council and Democratic town committee. Don't let the door hit hit you where the good Lord split you on the way out!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Bill Bishop for town councilor! Coors light for Christmas for everyone!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I wonder if he'll last longer there than he did in Dudley.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I feel bad for Monson! Or should i say thank you Monson Butch is nothin but a political Hack Southbridge will be better off He will eventually piss the selectmen off over there and he will get booted like he did in dudley. With his goofy pear shaped umpalumpa body thats a good place for him out in the Sticks Good Riddens !!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I find it fascinating that people will slag off on a guy, yet not have the stones or the integrity to sign the post.I gues that is the coward's way. I know Butch and don't agree with all he says, but at least he puts his ass out there for ridicule and tries to change what is going on. I do not always agree with Butch, but he has the guts to put it out htere and actually sign his name to it. What did you thespians do today?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi, Bob. I have no problem signing my name to this.

    As a former friend of mine, I used to like and respect what he was trying to accomplish, until, during the most recent election, I saw him for what he was. I won't go into the details, but I'm not found people that act against you, behind their back. Have the courage to ask before you accuse.

    I saw him tonight at the store. I haven't spoken to him since his election shenanigan's, and I'd love to say something nice to him.

    I'd love to, but I can't, and I won't. When you undermine people, and aren't forthcoming about it, I hardly think you deserve an "atta boy" and a pat on the back. Because of what he did, I haven't followed the Town Council since June, nor have I spoken with him, or ever plan on doing so again.

    He even refused to answer three text messages asking for contact information for two other councilors. Apparently, as a Councilor At Large, he feels that he can pick and choose who he supports.

    If he did half of the things he said he was going to do, we'd be in much better shape today than we are. But by helping to put in a minority of councilors who see things his way, he effectively gave this current council what it wanted and needed--a super majority that made sure that nothing he advocated moved forward.

    I don't wish him any ill will--that's bad Karma, but neither will I said anything kind about someone who blames you for something, finds out that they were wrong, and then doesn't deem it proper to apologize, at the very least.

    So that's what this Thespian did today.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Right on dennis.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I wonder if some of the anonymous comments come from the usual crew that thinks the purpose of the town council is to support the town manager. Butch tries to provide oversight. He has a better understanding of MGL than anyone sitting on the council including the TM and his counsel. I had the pleasure of working with him for a year and think the town will be worse off without him. I wish him well with whatever he decides to do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @ R. Logan

      I agree, 100%!

      Delete
  10. According to the charter, the Town will have to have a special election if the seat will be empty for more than 180 days? The timing is close if he does leave around Xmas?

    ReplyDelete
  11. He's not leaving, he's staying. The inaccurate reports here are wrong. He has no timetable to move. No special election. You got it wrong again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "A Southbridge native, he said he plans to move to Monson, so that he can respond quickly to incidents, and is looking forward to being part of the community."

      http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2012/10/monson_selectmen_pick_laurent.html

      Delete
    2. Yes, but what you don't have is when. Why don't you ask, and you'll see that you are wrong.

      Delete
    3. If you know what you're talking about, then you prove what a jerk he is. He's leaving both Southbridge and Monson up in the air unable to plan. Once again it's all about Butchie boy.

      Delete
  12. I spoke to him myself and he is moving.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you, he is moving. What you didn't ask was: when? My understanding is that he fully intends on serving as long as he can, into next year. Apparently, there is not a line in the sand date that he has to be moved to Monson by, unless he's changed his mind. The easy way is for people that are not named anonymous, like me and you, to get it on the record publicly. Will there be an election, who knows? Does it make a difference? I'll stay out of that discussion.

      Delete

All comments subject to moderation. All commenters must use their own name or a screen name. No comments labelled as "Anonymous" will be published. To use your name or a screen name select "Name/URL" from the drop down menu. Insert you name in the "Name" space and leave the "URL" space blank.